The black of night had settled like a velvet blanket over the gardens and houses, an occasional car or shout from a late night reveller occasionally breaking the silence. Against this blackness one garden glows, illuminated by a powerful bulb with a slightly pinkish purple hue, the leaves, flowers and fence line brilliantly defined in light. Overhead small creatures flit, mere shadows against the brilliance, some so tiny they are barely visible, the larger ones creating a buzzing noise with the flap of their wings. Moths. Circling, homing in on the light, a natural orientation reaction. Round and round they fly, until they drop into a box beneath. Here, as dawn approaches the moths head for the dark places amongst the egg boxes placed there for such a purpose.
With daylight it is time to sift through our catch, gently lifting the egg boxes out and removing our treasure into small pots, to be examined, identified and the released back into the garden.
|A little worn, but still a beauty. A Buff Ermine|
So often maligned as small, brown and boring, moths show a huge variety of shapes, size and colour, with even those that appear just brown having subtle patterns and beauty… if you have the patience to see it.
Occasionally amongst these subtle moths there is a beauty…like a buff ermine, or a swallow prominent, and occasionally there is a beast…like a privet hawkmoth.
|May be a beast, but also a beauty. A Privet Hawkmoth|
Today’s catch consisted of 68 moths of 21 different species. The most common being large yellow underwing, but interesting species included a brimstone moth, two nutmegs and a rather cool spectacle.
|A rather cool Spectacle|